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It is my guess that your bell is made of brass and was made in India. I say this because the etching on the shoulder and skirt of the bell are typically found on bells made in India. It is my opinion that this bell was made to be either a decorative item or a souvenir of India.
I have found a picture on the Internet of a bell similar to yours although it doesn’t appear to have any etching on it. The clapper in the bell in the picture I’m posting is heavier than the one on your bell but I also notice that the heavier clapper is suspended on a piece of wire similar to yours. The bell in the picture I’m posting is engraved India.
Here are pictures that I found:
Nightflier51 is right. John Kolstad of the California Bell Co. has posted the following on the website of the California Missions Resource Center:
In about 1893, when interest in “saving” the old Spanish missions was gathering steam, Ms. Anna Pitcher of the woman’s club of Los Angeles proposed that the historic trail of the mission era (El Camino Real) be preserved. By 1904 a plan had taken shape and a group of women formed the El Camino Real Association. This ultimately led to the creation of large marker bells, some 400 of which were placed along the highway and at each mission. One of the key movers and shakers in this effort was Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes. She and her husband Armitage Forbes started a manufacturing company to produce both the large marker bells and various size and type smaller bells. She ran the company for 20 years after he died.
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by Carolyn Whitlock. Reason: link didn't appear on the posting
I’ve been doing some online research as a result of your question. I have several Dolfi bells, too. First, I looked on ebay and read the descriptions of the bells listed there. So far, I have discovered that the bells are made in at least three different countries: Italy, West Germany, and Taiwan. The one consistent thread for all these bells is their carved wooden clappers were all made by Dolfi woodcarvers in Italy. You can see pictures of some of Dolfi’s “wooden figurine in crystal bells” at . There is also a section about their Collectible Crystal Bells at .
Although I don’t know for a fact, I suspect that the bell makers provide the glass blanks and contract with Dolfi to provide the clappers. That’s my best guess. Hopefully someone else can contribute more accurate information!
I googled “Wall Mount for U.S. Navy Bell” and many, many options appeared. Good luck!
It would seem that links to Facebook or Youtube.com cannot appear on the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum. Sorry. These were great performances.
harryjames, I can understand your missing the contact information for our historian. It is at the top of the very first page of the Bell Tower Articles by Category section in very small print. It says, “Request a copy of any article from AAA historian Kathleen Collins, telephone: 724-295-9623 or email: email@example.com”.
You will find the category “Wedding Bells” on page 77 of 78, 6th row up from the bottom of the page sandwiched in between “Waterford” and “Wedgwood Bells”. The article about
Glass Wedding Bells
was written by ABA Past-President Barry Halbritter and appears in the Mar-Apr 2008 issue on page 14. These articles are not downloadable from the Internet. You must contact our Historian and ask her to email the article to you.
This particular article is six pages long and includes full color pictures of many different styles of wedding bells. It does have a few paragraphs in a section of the article titled “Definition and History.”
Please remember to tell the Historian whether or not you are a member of ABA. I know in the past we have charged a fee for copying and mailing of the articles but I’m not sure what the policy for non-members is now.
You ask a good question, harryjames! One of the big benefits of belonging to the American Bell Association is that it gives you access to people who have collected bells for decades, the opportunity to participate in ABA Chapter meetings and activities, annual bell conventions, and the chance to talk to other bell collectors and “pick their brains” for information about all aspects of bells and collecting!
Many of our members have done extensive research and have shared their findings with others in many ways such as reading and learning from books about bells, writing articles about what they’ve learned and submitting them to our The Bell Tower, the ABA’s bi-monthly, 48-page, full-color magazine, have given presentations at Chapter Meetings, Regional Meetings, and, of course, at our Annual ABA Conventions.
Our ABA Historian holds the ABA’s collection of every article about bells printed since our organization was created in the early 1940s! We make copies of these articles available to members free of charge. If you go to , you will find a listing of our articles by category, title, author, the month and year the article was printed and the number of the page on which that article appears! EVEN BETTER, the historian has the ability to send you copies of the article(s) via email as well as “snail mail”! On the first page of the “Bell Tower Articles by Category” index, you will find the contact information for our historian. Forewarning: this index is 78 pages long at the current time and, of course, the category of wedding bells is on the last page (listed in alphabetical order by category)!
Unfortunately, I don’t see a specific article listed about determining the age of bells. That information may be included in specific articles from time to time. I suspect you have already searched the Internet to learn more about the history of glass wedding bells.
I wish you luck at finding out how to date glass wedding bells! If you’re successful, please share that information with us!
Hi, Beausone! What a beautiful bell! And, what a bargain! There is a picture of your bell in Al Trinidad’s book
- GLASS BELLS
, a Schiffer Book for Collectors, page 71, copyright 2001. The book describes this bell as:
Fenton Art Glass Co. #47 tea bell, “Daisy Cut” pattern… in ruby, with heavy chain and sinker type clapper. Four-sided tapered handles with serrated corners. PATD APPLD is molded around glass prongs holding the chain. 3″d. x 5-3/4″ h. 1908-1928.
The value of this bell in 2001 is listed at $50-$60. Good going!
You’re welcome, mossyfossil. Glad I could help. The American Bell Association members have helped me with my bell questions over the years and sharing my knowledge on the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum is one of the ways I “pay it forward” in appreciation for all the bell information others have shared with me!
You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help. It’s all part of paying it forward in appreciation for those who have helped me with my bell questions over the years!
My best guess is that this is a typical souvenir bell that was made in India. Is it possible that your grandparents visited India during the 1940s and brought it back with them or a friend or relative served in the military there? The bell appears to have some age on it. I’m no expert on bells from India but this looks like a fairly common India-made bell similar in shape to many made by Bells of Sarna. Most likely, it would be marked by Sarna if it was made by that company. But, there are other makers of souvenir bells in India.
Ah, I just enlarged the photo again and now can see the engraving on the top of the bell. That dotted printing is common on many bells made in India that I’ve seen. Can you tell us how tall the bell is and what is its diameter?
In looking at page 51 in our Bell Tower Articles by Category index, I see that there are 9 articles about bells from India. Several of the articles have been written by a native of India who is a member of the ABA. If you go to , you will see contact information for the ABA Historian. She can tell you how to get a copy of any or some of those articles. There may be a charge for people who are not ABA members.
Your beautiful bell is a Buddhist pilgrim’s bell. There is a full-page photo of one very much like yours in The Collector’s Book of Bells by L. Elsinore Springer on page 45. This book may be found in your local public library and/or in a used book store or an online bookstore. Springer says the following about this bell:
Perhaps the most striking use of the lotus motif on bells is seen in the gilded eight-petaled bloom crowning the handle on the familiar Buddhist prilgrim’s bell. Here from the center of the fully opened blossom rises a vajra; below the lotus, silvery cloud patterns are applied all up and down the tall eight-sided wooden handle. With other motifs around the bell proper and with even its tassel significantly knotted in a fourfold meander, this becomes a highly symbolic bell. For centuries, older Buddhists making long pilgrimages to distant shrines carried bells of this description. They rang them zealously as they chanted their prayers while passing through villages, hoping always for alms to help support their journey.
I trust you’ll enjoy this beautiful bell!
Our late ABA member, Dr. Harry Long, contributed a lot of good information about U.S. Navy bells to the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum. If you haven’t already done a search of this forum for Navy bells, I encourage you to do so.
Congratulations to your retirement community for wanting to honor Admiral Bidwell’s service and memory in this way! When the project is completed, please post a photo of the bell and plaque for us to admire. It may inspire people to honor others in the same way!
Hi, MossyFossil and welcome to the ‘Bell Talk’ Forum. Another resource you may want to contact is Railroadiana.org.
I guess Facebook didn’t want us viewing this wonderful video. Sorry about that.